A LEADING association for climate scientists has called on one of Australia's highest profile business leaders to apologise for accusing their profession of lacking integrity.
David Murray, former head of Australia's Commonwealth Bank and the Future Fund, told the ABC Lateline television news programme earlier this week that “there's been a breakdown in integrity” in the science of climate change.
The Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society has issued a statement saying it was “disturbed” by the remarks of Murray, who was in charge of $75 billion of government assets during the final year of his six years as the chairman of the Future Fund.
Mr Murray said he believed “the climate problem is severely overstated” which led interviewer Emma Alberici to point out the strong findings of the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In an open letter, AMOS president Blair Trewin writes:
The Society regards the remarks of Mr. Murray as being a serious slur on the integrity of the many Australian and international authors of the IPCC report, and views them as highly offensive to those authors and to the profession at large. The Society calls upon Mr. Murray to withdraw the remarks.
During the segment, Mr Murray was asked what it would take to “convince him” over the science of climate change. Murray responded:
When I see some evidence of integrity amongst the scientists themselves. I often look at systems and behaviours as a way of judging something, and in this case, to watch the accusations that fly between these people suggests there's been a breakdown in integrity in the science.
The letter from AMOS added:
The IPCC reports are an outstanding example of international science co-operation, rigour and transparency. They are subjected to multiple levels of review by experts both inside and outside the climate community, with all review comments and the authors’ responses to them being made publicly available.
In 2011, Murray was reported to have said that there was “no correlation” between carbon dioxide and global warming and that the world's glaciers were not melting. The latest IPCC report found that between 1993 and 2009 about 275 billion tonnes of ice were melting from the world's glaciers every year. Murray is being touted as playing a lead role in a Federal government inquiry into Australia's $5 trillion finance industry.
To read the full transcript of the interview, visit ABC Lateline. No doubt there'll be more to come on this story.